Secrets After Dark (After Dark #2) by Sadie Matthews - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Secrets After Dark-Book 2. Fire After Dark (After Dark Book 1) by Sadie Matthews, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Beth and Dominic embarked on the most intensely sexual and emotional relationship of their life in FIRE AFTER DARK - the first novel in Sadie Matthews' erotic.
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About the book: Fire After Dark book. Author: Sadie Matthews. Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks. Publish date: (16 Aug. ). ISBN Sadie Matthews is the author of six novels of contem- porary women's fiction published under other names. FIRE AFTER DARK was her first. Find Sadie Matthews on Twitter at aracer.mobi sadie_matthews. Also by Sadie Matthews. Fire After Dark. Secrets After.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey with these characters, they have brought me to tears, angered me, shocked me and completely took over my life for the past several days whilst devouring this trilogy. I ha Well I just can't help it, I absolutely freakin loved this trilogy and I can't but help think there is more yet to come. It's choc full of art as well as places and surroundings that we could only ever read of being part of in books. It's full of the most engaging characters from the monks at the Monastry to Mark and James in the art world.
If I am brutally honest book 3 didn't pack as much punch as 1 and 2, with 2 being an absolute knock out. But that said, it did keep me engaged and immersed in the story and still left me wanting more of them all. Sigh, I found this an excellent trilogy that I know I will read again and still feel very drawn into Beth's world the second, third and many more times after that.
I couldn't wait for this book, I absolutely loved the other two. But I found myself seriously disliking Dominic's character, he was shady and never forthcoming with info to Beth, even though he demanded she be honest with him. His business dealings were always more important than dealing with his relationship with Beth.
Just the thing to impress Mark. She was so relieved when I decided not to go backpacking with Laura. I probably can. It is October. I pull an old red bikini out of my drawer and. You must remember to enjoy yourself. I might get the chance to use it. It is one of the few things that I brought from the boudoir.
I gaze down for a moment. I remember how he ordered me to prepare it. I think grimly. I try to damp down the tiny rush of bubbles that erupt inside me at the thought. I need to focus on getting ready. I frown at myself. If he ever does. I wonder what it would be like to let that harmless-looking thing do the job it was designed for.
For the first time since that night. The memory makes me gasp involuntarily and feel a twitch of excitement. You might find out where he is. This time a sleek dark car collects Mark and me from his Belgravia house. I could definitely get used to this. An elegant stewardess is waiting for us just inside the door and smilingly shows us to our seats. When we get out of the car. I relax into it and snap my seat belt shut. Mark leans over to me. Ever since I started working for Mark.
The seat is incredibly soft.
Happy take-off. The nose tilts. I shake my head. The plane pivots into position and. I was safely on the ground. A minute ago. How odd — a plane taking off has never done that to me before. So little between safety and peril. The thought sends a strange kind of excitement shimmering through me.. Tremors ripple in my stomach with something like arousal. The beautiful stewardess appears.
Mark asks for champagne for both of us.. As we approach Nice airport. Mark and I chat as we eat. A tiny apple charlotte with Sauterne custard follows. Am I going to be sitting down to dinner with the Russian mafia tonight? I imagine Dubrovski like a Russian Al Capone. All secret inner fantasies banned! In fact. As we begin our descent. I smile to myself. I tell myself sternly to get a grip. I yawn. Mark hands me back my passport.
I never even saw it being returned to him. I could have just smuggled. He wants to be like Francis I — with the Mona Lisa hanging in. The weather is hotter and brighter than it was in London. The cashmere sweaters that I brought already seem redundant and my red bikini more enticing. Ever since he began to make really serious money. The October day here is a bright shining blue. He wants old masters and famous names.
For him. Is that something else about the world of the rich? I wonder. He pays me a handsome retainer so that I can be at his beck and call. A Rembrandt in the hall. Vast sums of money changing hands for what seems like not much effort? And that is where I help him: What kind of a boss is he to him? I never knew much. James went to visit Mark on.
For a moment. I know he was appalled by his mistake. I knew I had little time to see Dominic again. We are making love as tenderly and passionately as any couple could: When James passed this information on to me. A guard emerges from a hut behind the gates and comes out to speak to the driver. I think. And just for a second I get a marvellous rush of adrenalin at the thought that perhaps Dominic is waiting for me at the end of the driveway that curves away in front of us.
The car draws to a halt before a pair of large iron gates. So why did he have to go? But it was forgiven. He summoned Dominic away.
It was also because of this man. The drive takes us between elegantly manicured bushes and perfectly arranged flower beds. And since then. From what I recall from school French lessons. I stay behind Mark as he converses with the butler in fluent French. Late flowering roses climb up white trellising as if arranged by an artist. French nineteenth-century squarish grey roof edged in curling wrought iron.
A butler comes out to open the car door and we emerge on to the gravelled driveway. He comes from a world I can hardly imagine. What will he look like? A squat. I follow Mark. We have stopped in front of a pair of large white doors inlaid with gilt. The first impression is of light.
As my vision clears.. I realise there are wonderful works of art on every wall. I resist the impulse to go over to them. There are tall windows overlooking the garden through which the liquid sunshine spills in. On the walls are blobs of colour. He is stepping inside. And a Seurat? The butler is knocking discreetly. Dubrovski waves at Mark and points towards the armchairs scattered around the room.
Instead of a black suit and sunglasses. The possibility makes me feel trembly and loose-limbed.. A man is standing there. I hardly notice the prominent nose. His conversation comes to an end and he turns to face us full on for the first time.
Dubrovski is talking away in Russian. He speaks. Mark leads the way and sits down. Mark leaps up and takes it. A chill goes through me as I register how icy it is. His English is only faintly accented and sounds more American than Russian. How are you? He turns that brilliant blue gaze on me and I feel incredibly small and unimportant. He seems agitated. It really is like being in the.
I get the feeling he knows exactly how to handle Dubrovski. Dubrovski sits down in one of the pale armchairs and immediately we sink back into our own. Beth Villiers. He says in that gravelly tone. They claim to have discovered a completely unknown Fra Angelico in their possession. And a previously unknown Fra Angelico is practically impossible.
Stand when they do. Since the missing panels of the San Marco. My people were approached by a representative of a monastery in Croatia. I want you to see it right away. I believe everything is accounted for. What is it they claim to have? They want a fortune for it. When shall we leave? The Russian goes on without pausing.
Mark avoids my gaze for the moment.
He picks it up. I follow Mark as he stands up and walks quietly out of the room. The butler is waiting for us in the hall and immediately steps forward. If what they claim is true. A trip to Croatia? This is a surprise. I will show you to your rooms. What you expected?
Sort of. But all that rippling power. Goodness knows what. The butler is opening a door. My case is already in there.. And yet. I shudder inwardly.. Imagine the embarrassment. A wash of relief passes over me when I think that I almost brought my vibrator with me in case the glamour of my surroundings awakened that kind of a mood.
I think it would be tiring for you.
I wonder if the kind soul who unpacked it will mind redoing it for me in the morning. I need to get on with reality. I lean against the door and sigh. The butler is taking him to his suite nearby. I feel happier. Dubrovski barely sleeps. Set your alarm good and early. Then I say out loud. Seems like a good idea to me.
This is incredible. This is my first helicopter ride. Mark and. Chapter Four If I thought yesterday marked a high point in my life experiences.
I have a mic attached to my headphones. Oh my goodness. All this must be old hat to him. The view curves from above our heads to below our feet and the world seems astoundingly close. Mark already knows that only a few years ago. And with Croatia so near to Italy.
I soaked in the azure blues. With that. I spent a few happy hours last night roaming through the catalogues of art collections around the world. Romania and Bulgaria beyond. Croatia before us. God-given talent to create such beautiful art no wonder he became known as the Angelic Brother. Islands sit green and grey in the bright water. Just names to me before but now approaching in massy reality — cities.
The city of Split formed around it centuries ago. Mark points out at something ruined and grand below and says. He looks set and serious today.
I can only imagine what it must be like when all that energy is turned to something vicious. How on earth are we going to land? Life has thrown me this amazing opportunity and I want to make the most of it. The peak is entirely covered by an impressive stone building. We soar upwards. As we sail above Split and beyond. Within a few minutes. Being here is exhilarating.
At the thought. Surely the blades will catch and jam against the stone. They have flat roofs and someone has painted a crude white cross on one — a landing pad — but I still find it hard to believe that our aircraft can fit in the narrow space between the battlements.
I want to laugh wildly. I hold my breath as the pilot guides us in. Dubrovski jumps out and goes to meet him. I see a man in a black robe emerge from a door in the tower. How was that? Up here. The others are unbuckling their belts and hanging up their headphones. Now the work begins. Mark turns to me with a smile. From the corner of my eye. I can hardly hear what anyone is saying but follow Mark as we are led through the wooden door and into the tower.
The instant quiet within is disconcerting after the hours of engine noise. We go down. Maybe the atmosphere is thinner up here. My skin is still tingling and my breath seems to be coming a little shorter. Ahead of me. Goodness knows how high we are. It is Dominic stretched before me. The word echoes through my mind and. A man who believed in charity and self-denial. Mark lingers until we are walking side by side. I say weakly. The spiritual benefits of physical discomfort of all kinds. I long to run my hands over his body.
But the vivid vision of. I manage to nod. I have to get control. Dominic is both wonderful and agonising. The monk in front opens another larger door. We are in a huge refectory lined with trestle-tables. Dubrovski goes inside and Mark and I follow. I can tell that his impatience is growing.
Glancing at Dubrovski discreetly as we are seated at a polished wooden table in a private room with the abbot at the head. I get a mental image of a young Dubrovski setting about his business rivals.
I observe him properly without being noticed. I wonder how old he is — in his late thirties or early forties? His skin is tanned and he has deep lines running down beside his mouth and cross-hatching his forehead that make him look weather-beaten and tough.
His nose is too large to be classically handsome but it suits him. His mouth is broad and generally unsmiling. The abbot looks startled as he opens his eyes and realises that his guest has started. The thought makes me shiver lightly. At last. Mark is watching him carefully. Dubrovski is twitching. I dip my gaze politely. The abbot is droning on as two blackrobed monks glide around the table.
Our moment is almost here. Now we see the painting. He opens yet another wooden door and. Enough waiting. Mark and I exchange glances. Dubrovski pushes his halfempty plate away.
I eat hungrily. When he says jump. He really is magnetic. The abbot tucks his hands into his sleeves and looks on. I want to stop and examine them. My breath is speeding up. I think he is actually holding his breath.
This really matters to him. How amazing to have such passion and to be able to indulge it. The monk is smiling. We are all staring. I smile back. Then he glances up and locks me in that powerful blue beam. A strong surge like an electric current passes through me: Should I not look at him?
The relief that drenches me is almost sweet and. The monk takes hold of the cloth and says. For a second. Then he looks back at the altar and our connection is broken. Even if it is. The cloth ripples away. The colours are vibrant and gorgeous. A painted wooden panel is revealed. We all stare. I gasp. The throne is placed in a grove and surrounded by trees and flowers. The Madonna. Do you see? Dubrovski glances at Mark and says roughly. Mark is looking at me. Fra Angelico painted some of the earliest examples — rather than flat representations of people who simply pray to the deity.
Come with. Dubrovski turns to me. Is it asking so much to be a little bit polite? All these orders! Where are we going? I have to walk very fast to keep up. He nods. I can almost feel their laser beam against my skin. Come with me. I glance at Mark. Then I hurry down the aisle after the vanishing Russian. In the corridor outside. Then his eyes travel down my body to my feet and back up again.
As I catch up. I hear the chirrup of his phone and then he is pressing it to his ear again. Give me thirty seconds. The heels of my shoes clatter on the stones as I hurry down after him. Very promising. We reach a staircase and Dubrovski descends it quickly. As he powers ahead of me. Where are you? They are sitting close to one another. He seems to know exactly where he is going. Inside are two people. As she sees Dubrovski. The woman is extremely beautiful with glossy dark hair pulled back into a tight ponytail.
All sight and sound vanishes except for one thing. As we come in. The man next to her. Chapter Five Oh my God. I have an instant vision of his chest.
His hair is the same. I feast my eyes on his handsome face. But despite the wild urges possessing me.
I understand. I take in how very beautiful she is: As he looks back at me meaningfully. As I look at her. I drag my gaze away from him and over to the woman next to him. Abruptly his expression changes. Dominic is staring back bewildered as he tries to take in that I am really there.
His voice sounds particularly harsh after her mellow tones. The man I was in love with.. Where else can I look. I still am. I need to talk to Anna about the deal. There are monks walking along the corridor. Ask one of the brothers to help you.
As he gets closer to me. We go along the passageway. He pulls me through the doorway. Oh God. With every moment that passes. He turns to me. He kisses me with a kind of desperate hunger. Then he stops abruptly outside another door. Using all my strength, my fists clenched, my jaw set with effort, I set my standing leg like steel and pull the other up, ready to put all my force behind it. I pivot slightly on my heel, feel my knee against my chest, then: POW!
I strike out with a kick, powering it through with everything I can muster. My foot slams into the pad my trainer is holding up, and I note with satisfaction that he wobbles a little under my blow. Sid laughs. Where are you getting your energy?
I just need to release some tension. But what kind of tension? She gives me a sideways look. After three years of being a student, and then months of freedom as she backpacked around the world, she has been finding the restrictions of working life a strain. She sighed. Actually, it was. I needed some release myself, but maybe not quite in the same way that Laura did. I always come home feeling strong and confident, thanks to the rush of endorphins and the proper tiredness that comes from actually doing something energetic, rather than the weariness of work and commuting.
Just think — you and me, living together in London, with proper jobs and everything! It feels like only yesterday that we were a couple of scruffy students spending our evenings in the bar making our drinks last as long as we could.
Now look at us. Laura knows very little of how I spent my summer, or of the incredible things that happened when I met Dominic. The boudoir. I picture the key, sitting in my jewellery box in a black pouch. Not without Dominic. Laura fixes me with a knowing look.